Sprouts not only taste good, but they’re also full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and enzymes. Their nutritional benefits were discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago. In Chinese medicine, a seed is considered to be yin and its offshoot is considered to be yang, so the ancient Chinese recognized that as seed sprouts, yin turns into yang. Because of this, as the seed transforms from its dormant stage into a living food, it possesses a vitality that makes it particularly nourishing.
Sprouts can be expensive in health food stores but they’re really easy to grow. Any raw whole grain, nut, seed or legume that hasn’t been processed can be sprouted. Common seeds for sprouting include alfalfa, mustard seeds, and broccoli seeds. Common legumes and beans include lentils, peas, garbanzo beans, and mung beans. Quinoa is a particularly delicious grain when sprouted.
What You’ll Need
- A large wide-mouthed jar (I like to use a mason jar because the screw-on ring that holds the lid can hold the cheesecloth)
- Raw, unprocessed seeds, grains or legumes (2 tbsp of small seeds or 3/4 cup of beans, legumes or grains)
What To Do
- Make sure the jar is clean and rinse the seeds in water.
- Put the seeds, beans, legumes, or grains in the jar.
- Cover the seeds with water (water should be about 1″ higher than the level of the seeds.
- Secure the cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar either with the mason jar ring or a rubber band.
- Leave to soak away from bright light. (Small seeds only need to soak for about 2 hours, larger beans should soak for about 8 hours).
- Drain the soaking water through the cheesecloth.
- Rinse in lukewarm water and drain again leaving the jar at a slight angle for half an hour to allow the water to drain out fully.
- Roll the jar so the seeds stick to the sides and leave it in a dark part of your kitchen.
- Rinse and drain the seeds 2 – 3 times a day for about 3 days, making sure you drain them well each time. The sprouts should not stand in water as they will grow moldy.
- When the seeds begin to sprout (usually on the fourth day) move the jar into the light to activate the chlorophyll and turn the sprouts green.
- Once the seeds have sprouted and turned green take them out of the jar and wash them.
- Store in the fridge for up to a week.